Arabic Type in the Souq

Went material shopping in Doha’s Souq Waqif for our next Imaging and Design and Form of Communication project.


I tried Google translating:

غيث للسيوف الجوهر والتراثيات
Ghaith swords essence and Turathiat

Something’s not right for sure. Either way, it wasn’t the meaning that caught my eye (since I barely understood it). I guessed the sword part, especially since the shop seemed to be full of antique-looking objects, souvenir like things and, of course, swords.

What caught my eye was the traditional looking display. The type looked very calligraphic, not like a designed typeface. Apart from that, it also looked very Perisan. It’s similarity to urdu writing might be what made me like it so much. That, and the fact that the rest of the board reminded me of opulent, Mughal architecture in India. The fact that the overall feel of the board reminded me of this makes sense, since not only did Persia have an influence on India, but also Qatar.

The readability of the type I have to say was not that great. The type on the overly detailed background was difficult to read, especially in the daylight. Despite this, I think the colour choices are good. I’m not sure of my own colour choices often times, but when I look at compositions like this one I can see that the colours go well together.

Going by the poorly google translated meaning, and the general mood of the board, the idea this type is trying to display is that it’s a shop full of traditional (maybe expensive things). From the conceptual point of view the choice of gold for the naskh type makes sense—it might not be that readable but it adds to the traditional and expensive look.



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